A Big Display

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A Big Display

It's no surprise that many of the most popular tablets on store shelves have big displays. Tablets are designed to help consumers enjoy entertainment, surf the Web and engage in other activities that require a larger screen. For tablet makers to be successful next year, they must still offer a big display.

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Ample Apps

Applications are an integral component in the tablet experience. They extend the devices' usability and help keep people interested in the respective product. Apps also prompt consumers to buy the latest tablet version the next time around. The App Store, Android Market and Amazon App Store are major reasons devices like the iPad, Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Kindle Fire are so successful.

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Integrated Services

When one considers the success Amazon's Kindle Fire and the Apple iPad 2 have had, they'll find that a key component in their popularity is integrated services. From iTunes to the App Store on the iPad and Prime Instant Video to the Kindle App Store on the Kindle Fire, integrated services keep consumers interested and engaged with devices. In 2012, every tablet maker must keep that in mind.

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Responsive Software

Amazon's Kindle Fire caught some heat for having a sluggish operating system. The iPad, however, comes with the most responsive platform in the business. And its sales seem to reflect the average consumer's desire for that. If tablet makers want to be successful next year, they'll have to deliver responsive, high-quality software.

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Security woes have been a major issue for Android over the years. And chances are, they're only going to get worse in 2012. Therefore, the tablet maker that can stifle the security threats and limit the chances of a respective device suffering from malware will be the most successful. Tablet customers care deeply about security-and everyone must remember that.

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Its All About Design

Whenever Apple enters a market, it has a tendency to change it in a very big way. It also puts pressure on competitors to try and match its own products. In the tablet space, that means matching the iPad on design. In 2012, Apple will deliver the iPad 3 with a solid design. Its competitors must follow suit-or else.

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Pricing Is Everything

As the Amazon Kindle Fire and HP TouchPad showed in 2011, pricing is everything in the tablet market. Although people are willing to pay $499 to $829 for an iPad 2, they aren't willing to do so with other tablets. That's why the $199 Kindle Fire was successful and the HP TouchPad only caught on after it was offered at $99. The companies that want to see success in 2012 must offer discounted tablets.

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A Unique Android Flavor

The Kindle Fire did something rather interesting: It offered a unique version of Android. Too often, tablet makers simply deliver Android versions that consumers can find elsewhere. The Kindle Fire, however, comes with a unique design that makes people forget Android is running on it. More companies should do that in 2012. Android on its own just isn't all that appealing.

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Mobile Connectivity

Mobile connectivity is central to the commercial appeal of a tablet. After all, tablets are designed to be mobile products people can bring with them on road trips. So, in 2012, every tablet maker-including Apple-should offer 4G support. Companies that currently don't even offer 3G connectivity should, at the very least, do that. Wireless connectivity will be central to any tablet's popularity in 2012.

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Ports Galore

One of the iPad's biggest flaws is that it doesn't come with any industry-standard ports. So, folks hoping for a USB connection or even an Intel Thunderbolt port won't find it. Some other devices have High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) ports and USB ports, but more tablets should offer them in 2012. Tablets are quickly becoming a central component in both the living room and the computing environment. Extra ports are needed for tablet buyers to capitalize on that.